The History of Comic Books: The Golden Age Chapter 2: Not That Riverdale

I learned something new in researching the history of comics for this project. Although I had read a lot of Archie Comics as a kid, I knew very little about the company’s origins.
Archie Comics was originally known as MLJ Magazines, and got the name from the first initials of its three founders: Maurice Coyne, Louis Silberkleit, and John L. Goldwater. Goldwater was also one of the founders of the Comics Magazine Association of America (more on them later.) Although the company started out publishing superhero comics, it was a backup feature in their flagship comics’ 22nd issue that would become their most famous character.

Pep Comics #22, where it all began
Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper in their first


My favorite character, Jughead Jones, Archie’s best friend

Archie Andrews was created by writer Vic Bloom and artist Bob Montana. The comic was inspired by the Andy Hardy movies, starring Mickey Rooney as a typical suburban teenager. He was also joined by girl next door Betty Cooper and his best friend Jughead Jones. Other characters soon followed, all pictured below.

Veronica Lodge, the original mean girl (Pep Comics #26, April 1942)


Mr. Weatherbee, Riverdale High’s easily flustered principal. (Jackpot Comics #5, Spring, 1942)


Reggie Mantle is Archie’s rival and an all-around jerk. (He cameoed in Mr. Weatherbee’s first appearance, but his official first appearance was Jackpot Comics #6, Summer 1942)


Ms. Grundy is often characterized as a more even-tempered teacher, as a contrast to Mr.Weatherbee.


Veronica ‘s father, Hiram Lodge (Pep Comics #31, Sept. 1942). He spoils her rotten and doesn’t like Archie bec


“Pop” Tate, who owns the malt shop in Riverdale (Feb, 1944)
Moose Mason (originally Moose McGee), a typically hot-tempered jock–all brawn, no brains. He’s much nicer nowadays. (Jughead #1, January #1, 1949)

Archie Comics became such a popular character, that eventually the company was named after him. It still exists to this day. And yes, this was the inspiration for the CW series Riverdale.
Next week, we take a look at the final major publisher of the Golden Age, and the only featured publisher that no longer exists: EC Comics.
Next: Chapter 3: Entering the Crypt.


Author: rocklobsterjwt

I am a Christian and an anime fan. My blog will cover anime reviews and maybe an occasional story

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